A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Kids have the purest faith.
Positive Role Models
Santa and his elves want to promote love in the world.
Violence & Scariness
Santa's sleigh crashes in a couple of test runs, but no one is hurt and there are no real scares.
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Products & Purchases
Elf Pets are toys sold by the company that produced this animated film. Other toys include Scout Elf and The Elf on the Shelf.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Elf Pets: Santa's Reindeer Rescue feels a lot like a 26-minute animated informercial to sell toy Elf Pets (shown in their packages here) as well as The Elf on the Shelf toy made by the company that produced this film. While there is nothing scary or inappropriate for young viewers, the lack of a coherent story does suggest this is more about selling toys than it is about promoting Christmas spirit, even as it touts the depth of children's faith and the importance of love. Expect kids who see this to ask for the toys on display. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Nothing about Elf Pets: Santa's Reindeer Rescue is particularly original, delightful, or offensive. For kids who have the toys being advertised here, this 26-minute animation may provide a harmless diversion. The story doesn't make much sense as it's taken up with solving a seemingly non-existent problem. Santa's sleigh has always worked just fine until now, hasn't it? Why are mini-reindeer necessary? Is there a shortage of regular-sized ones? Why do kids need to temporarily own the latest product, stuffed mini-reindeer (shown in the company's recognizable plastic packaging), and keep them at home when the final goal is to grow them big and strong enough so they can go back to Santa to guide his sleigh?
Muddy logic aside, the best thing this has going for it is that kids like to contemplate the pre-Christmas work Santa and his elves perform to get everyone their presents.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.